Kentucky lost a key recruit Friday, as guard Nolan Hickman Jr. decommitted from the school.
Jack Pilgrim of Kentucky Sports Radio reported that Hickman's father informed the outlet of the decision.
Hickman is rated as a 4-star prospect by 247Sports, as well as the No. 29 overall player, No. 4 point guard and No. 1 player from the state of Utah in the 2021 recruiting class.
The Mount Pleasant, Utah, native starred at Wasatch Academy and was one of the Wildcats' best commits before deciding against playing under head coach John Calipari at Kentucky.
Per 247Sports, Hickman was the second-ranked recruit in the 2021 class to have signed a letter of intent with Kentucky behind power forward Daimion Collins, who is ranked 10th nationally. No. 30-ranked Bryce Hopkins has signed a letter of intent as well.
Additionally, Kentucky has landed a pair of 4-star transfers in power forward Oscar Tshiebwe from West Virginia and point guard Kellan Grady from Davidson.
As part of his analysis for Hickman last year, 247Sports national recruiting analyst Josh Gershon lauded his competitiveness, mental makeup and scoring, facilitating and defensive ability. Gershon called Hickman an "easy high major starter with NBA upside."
Hickman would have had a legitimate chance to play big minutes for the Wildcats as a freshman, but Calipari must now turn to some other backcourt options.
The aforementioned Grady could be Calipari's top point guard in 2021-22, while returning sophomore Devin Askew is in line for a heavy workload as well despite a tough freshman campaign in which he averaged just 6.5 points and 2.9 assists per game, while shooting 34.5 percent from the field.
The 2020-21 season was a nightmarish one for Kentucky as a whole, as it went just 9-16 and missed the NCAA tournament for only the second time in 11 years under Calipari.
Losing a player with Hickman's potential could make bouncing back an even more difficult endeavor for the Wildcats.